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Jesus the Jew by Geza Vermes

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  • Jesus the Jew by Geza Vermes

    Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels
    by Geza Vermes

    Prof. Vermes has been accussed of marginalizing and/or minimizing the historical Yeshua. I don't read it that way. I think Prof. Vermes' on the right track with attempting to humanize Yeshua and demonstrate that he was in fact a product of the proto-rabbinic social milieu from which he arose. Comparing Yeshua to the other sage-prophets, healers, miracle workers and exorcists of the Common Era is a validation of Yeshua historicity!

    Yes, Prof. Vermes does rely on material from the rabbinic literature that some argue is too late in date to be useful in understanding the proto-rabbinic Separatism of Yeshua. Nevertheless, can anyone be sure that this later material wasn't floating about on the currents of the Oral Tradition during Yeshua day and age? One might doubt Prof. Vermes conclusions on that basis, but one cannot and must not deny them on that basis alone.

    Further, how do we know that given Yeshua's penchant for "shock value" in his teachings that he didn't use phrases like "the son of man" to perk the ears of his auidence and get their attention, while at the same time using this phrase as a Hebraic way of say "me," which is how Prof. Vermes takes it?

    Additionally, I think Prof. Vermes is right on target when making a case that the "higher" Christological formulations and interpolations in the Gospels belong to a later Hellenizing stage. The only correction I would make there would be in seeing these concepts as proto-Gnostic in nature, in as much as they were first espoused by the opponents of Shaul (Paul), which forced said apostle to write many corrective epistles only to have his verbage hijacked and reinterpreted by said opponents.

    I would say that this book is definitely a must read for everyone interested in the historical Yeshua and the Judaism from which he arose.

    Last edited by smadewell; 08-27-2006, 07:05 AM.
    "What is mine is yours and what is yours is yours."